Danish Oil Over Stain – Possible? Some Things You Should Consider

Perhaps, you want to stain your woodwork, and you desire to have an excellent finish over it after you have stained it. Do you think about how possible it is to apply your Danish oil over that stain?

Here’s an answer to your worries. This article discusses the possibility and other concerns to know.

In this article, you will understand the nature of Danish oil and the available types of stains, what you should consider when applying Danish oil over stains, and a few other finishing tips for a successful project.

Is It Possible To Have Danish Oil Over Stain?

Yes, it is. It is absolutely possible to have Danish oil over stains. Danish oil is a sealing finish that protects your woodwork from moisture and other factors that can deteriorate it. But stains are used to alter the color of the wood.

There are generally two types of stains. They include oil-based stains and water-based stains. The possibility of using Danish oil to seal either of these stains depends on the type of stain you choose.

Oil-Based Stains

Oil-based stains work better on nonporous woods. They are better for vertical surfaces because they are thicker and less runny, unlike water-based stains. But they are not ideal for woodworks with a lot of corners. This is important to note because oil-based stains will pool in the crevices and corners.

Water-Based Stains

Water-based stains are usually loose. They are often called liquid stains. The defining mark of these types of stains is that they penetrate the wood as soon as you apply them. They are runnier, but they dry quicker than oil stains, and they come in a variety of colors. They also clean easier and faster than oil-based stains with a simple soap wash. This affords you more freedom with the shade of coloring you want for the project.

Also, water-based stains are easier to work with because they do not have the strong odor that comes with oil-based stains. Water-based stains are great for porous surfaces because the stain soaks into the grains well. They bring out the true nature of the wood.

Both stains are pretty durable, but you still need Danish oil to seal in that beauty and protect the color from the wear of the element.

What You Should Consider

There are a few things you must take into consideration if you want your Danish oil finishing top coat to come out excellently. These considerations are discussed below.

The Compatibility of the Stain with Danish Oil

Generally, oil-based finishes pair well with oil-based stains, and water-based finishes pair well with water-based stains. Danish oil is an oil-based finish. Danish oil will pair excellently with your oil-based stains.

Although it is possible to finish your Danish oil on woodwork that is stained with a liquid stain, the process would not be as straightforward as with an oil-based stain. You’d have to allow the water-based stain to dry well before covering it with your Danish oil.

Drying Time

Drying time plays an important role in ensuring the best possible finish results. The rule is simple: you must allow the stain below to dry completely before applying another finish over it.

Generally, when using a water-based finish over an oil-based stain, it would be best to wait for up to three days before applying the water-based finish over it. But that would not be the case with an oil-based finish over a water-based stain.

With Danish oil over a water-based stain, you would only have to wait for at least 24 hours after applying the water-based stain to apply the Danish oil over it.

Drying time is affected by many factors. It would be best to work at a temperature of about (70°F) 21°C for adequate drying time. It would also be best to work on a day with about 70% relative humidity.

Also, it would be best to allow the first coat of the stain to dry before reapplying any other coats or your Danish oil. If it is an oil-based stain, the other coats may never dry if the first coat is not dry before you apply more. You can tell when the first coat of an oil-based stain is dry by noticing the smell and tackiness. If it is no longer tacky and you can’t smell the coat, you know your oil-based stain is dry.

If it is a water-based stain, you have to touch it to tell when it is dry. If the stain is cool to the touch, it means it is not dry. Also, if you can’t sand it and get a good powder out of it, then it is not dry. You have to let it dry before applying a topcoat finish on it.


Generally, you cannot mix oil-based products with water-based products. This means that if you are using a water-based stain and you wish to alter the color of your Danish oil, you cannot change the color with your water-based stain. It would be best to get an oil-based stain to change the color of your Danish oil.

Also, it would not help to use your Danish oil over light colors like white stains. Oil-based finishes, including Danish oil, tend to be amber over long periods. This will ultimately change the color of your project.


The characteristics of the project are essential. If you are going to dye a piece of furniture with many corners and crevices, it would be best to seal the cracks first with a white sealer. This way, you won’t have much of the oil-based stain fill into the gaps.

Stains tend to be concentrated in cracks and crevices because they usually pool up in the gaps. They are generally irreversible unless you plan to go into heavy sanding. So it would be best to first seal with white sealers, stain to have consistent color, let dry, and recoat the color as much as you like before finishing off with your Danish oil.

Great Finishing Tips

To get the best results, it would help to apply the stain coat on a completely dry surface. For oil-based stains, use thinly to prevent lumps on the surface. Getting a smooth finish with your Danish oil might be challenging if you end up with a lumpy surface.

If you end up with lumps, wipe quickly and reapply the stain. Your goal should be a consistent stain as much as possible.

If you wish to brush, take note of the direction of the grain of the wood and brush in that direction to get a consistent stain. The quality of a good finish depends on the quality of a good stain.

After the initial stain, it would be best to wait for about 24 to 72 hours, depending on the type of stain. Oil-based stains usually take longer to dry, while water-based stains will dry up in about 24 hours. Only reapply the stain after the initial layer cures completely.

Before you apply your Danish oil, it would be best to remove any dirt, dust, or debris from the wood surface. You can do this with a tack cloth. You can rub your Danish oil with a rag. To get a finer finish, it would be best to wet sand the first coat with fine-grit sandpaper before applying the second coat.

Final Thoughts

Danish oil is a great way to seal your stain. But as the article points out, there are rules of compatibility that must be observed. Failing to keep the rules of putting Danish oil over water-based stains might lead to an unsuccessful project. With the tips in this article, there are no ends to the possibilities of Danish oil over your stains.